Cricket: Blackcaps players recognised in ICC's annual awards

The Blackcaps were in the thick of the action in the International Cricket Council's annual awards, announced on Tuesday night.

An unprecedented three New Zealand batsmen were named to the ICC's Test Team of the Year, with Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham joining captain Kane Williamson in the side, which is selected by an international panel of media.

Williamson was also awarded the ICC's Spirit of Cricket prize for what the sport's governing body described as "his continued commitment to playing the game in the right spirit and as a role model to the whole sport".

The 28-year-old deflected praise for his achievement and insisted it was a reflection on his team's attitude as a whole.

"It's some sort of recognition, and it looks like an individual piece of recognition but it's much more about the team," Williamson said. "I know both of the other two who are fortunate to be named in that XI would agree."

The trio's selection comes off the back of a sparkling 2018 in whites for New Zealand, which included series wins over England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka amid an historic streak of four consecutive test series wins.

The previous best for New Zealanders since the annual XI began was in 2014, when Williamson and seamer Tim Southee were picked, with Ross Taylor named 12th man.

Taylor was an undeniable selection as New Zealand's only representative in the limited overs formats, named to the one-day international side.

Both Latham and Nicholls have enjoyed career years at the crease. Latham's surge was highlighted by his unbeaten 264 in the first test against Sri Lanka last month, which he proceeded to back up with 176 in the following match.

Meanwhile, Nicholls cemented himself as an anchor of the NZ batting line-up, notching scores of 162 n.o and 124 n.o during the Sri Lanka series on his way to a staggering annual average of 73.

India's Virat Kohli was one of two players to be named to both sides, appointed captain of both the test and one-day teams of the year alongside compatriot quick Jasprit Bumrah.

Test: Tom Latham (NZ), Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka), Kane Williamson (NZ), Virat Kohli (India, captain), Henry Nicholls (NZ), Rishabh Pant (India, WK), Jason Holder (West Indies), Kagiso Rabada (South Africa), Nathan Lyon (Australia), Jasprit Bumrah (India), Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan).

One-day international: Rohit Sharma (India), Jonny Bairstow (England), Virat Kohli (India, captain), Joe Root (England), Ross Taylor (NZ), Jos Buttler (England, WK), Ben Stokes (England), Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Kuldeep Yadav (India), Jasprit Bumrah (India).